5 HR Tech Trends Shaping Your Business | Featured Image

5 HR Tech Trends Shaping Your Business

5 HR Tech Trends Shaping Your Business | Main Image

Technology continues to drive and disrupt today’s talent management strategies. As we move closer to the halfway point of 2017, we take a look at 5 key HR tech trends shaping your business.

Cybersecurity skills challenges

The widely publicised global data breach that affected the NHS last month highlights the very real risks to all businesses. After the talent shortage, PWC notes that cybersecurity is the second highest ranked concern for CEOs, with three quarters (76%) citing this it as a significant challenge in its annual CEO Survey. A UK government report also found that half of all businesses have experienced at least one data breach or cybersecurity attack in the past year, rising to two thirds of medium and large businesses. Your ability to secure your data is an increasing issue and the pressure is on HR to source talent with vital cybersecurity skills. A report from Experis found that demand for cybersecurity professionals is at an all time high, echoing an earlier survey from Robert Half, Technology and Recruitment : The Landscape For 2017 which found that sourcing tech talent with cybersecurity skills was a priority for over half of all hiring managers this year.

The ongoing debate over AI

Predictions of a jobless world have thrown the debate over AI sharply into focus but AI and automation offer a number of benefits for hiring teams. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Satya Ramaswamy describes ‘machine to machine’ transactions as the ‘low hanging fruit’ of AI rather than ‘people displacement’.

Elsewhere, Gartner predicts that by 2022 smart machines and robots could replace highly trained professionals in sectors including tech, medicine, law and financial services, transforming them into ‘high margin’ industries resembling utilities. But it stresses the benefit that AI brings in replacing repetitive, mundane tasks and offering more meaningful work. The key is to create the right blend of AI and human skills, which HR is ideally positioned for. Gartner suggests that a further benefit of AI is the alleviation of skills shortages in talent starved sectors.

A beneficial and immediate use of AI for HR is the automation of mundane and repetitive tasks in the recruitment cycle through HR technology, allow hiring teams to focus on creating the effective candidate and employee experience that their business urgently needs.

Chatbots in hiring

Today chatbots are emerging as an essential tech tool for high volume recruitment, engaging with candidates via messaging apps with the aim of creating a more interactive and engaging hiring process. The AA was one of the first brands to feature this smart technology and this year it is predicted that chatbot Stanley will interview 2.5 million candidates. As the skills shortage continues, the chatbot offers a more direct and effective way of engaging with sought after millennials or graduate talent. Chatbots are also predicted to make HR’s life easier through simple interactions via mobile devices for both candidates and employees.

Dark data

While still in the exploration stage, dark data can offer vital insights into talent sourcing. Up to 80% of the data created is ‘unstructured’ or ‘dark’ data found in, for example, e-mails, text messages, spreadsheets and pds. At present it is not usable in analytics but AI can be leveraged to organise it into a more usable form. Last month it emerged that Apple have acquired a machine learning based company to strengthen its own capabilities in the area of dark data. Deloitte’s Global Talent Trends report for 2017 reports that only 9% of businesses have a good understanding of the talent dimensions that drive performance. Dark data may help to illuminate those dimensions.

Moving to predictive analytics

It’s not a new or emerging HR tech trend but the transition to predictive analytics is one that HR must eventually (reluctantly?) make as the skills gap in the UK widens and the availability of qualified and digitally able candidates continues to fall. Applying people analytics improves hiring outcomes, reduces the level of early departures from your business and enables HR to begin to predict and plan for future hiring needs. The first step towards predictive analytics is for tech-averse hiring teams to relinquish manual recruitment systems in favour of HR technology and begin to understand the key metrics affecting your hiring process.

Advorto’s recruitment software provides workflow and structure across the entire hiring process, offering a dynamic database of candidates and analytics. Used by some of the world’s leading organisations, it provides a straightforward first step into AI, HR analytics and big data. Start your 30 day free trial today.


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What Does Dark Data Mean For HR?

What Does Dark Data Mean For HR?

Dark data is predicted to be one of the emerging tech trends for 2017. As businesses explore more ways to transform talent management processes and slowly move towards analytics, the swathes of information contained in dark data may prove to be the missing piece in the recruitment jigsaw.

Gartner defines dark data as the ‘information assets organisations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes’. It is used, inactive information found in unexplored files including e-mails, messages, spreadsheets, pdfs, audio and video files. For many companies this data lies dormant and discarded but the insight it contains may inform and drive future talent management and hiring decisions.

Deloitte’s reportDark analytics: Illuminating opportunities hidden in unstructured data’ highlights the opportunities in dark data but warns that within three years’ time the sheer amount of data available may prove to be unmanageable. Veritas estimates the cost of managing ‘untamed’ data at up to $3.3 trillion per year collectively by 2020.

Dark data in hiring

Used effectively dark data can offer vital insights into talent sourcing and retention patterns. Data that is lost or ‘goes dark’ may disrupt hiring processes. It may be something as simple as the lost CV of a qualified candidate or a missing vital background check that extends your time to hire. Effective hiring processes require active, easily accessible data to reduce the amount of time employees spend duplicating or recreating information they can’t find.

In considering the potential use of dark data in your hiring processes, keep in mind the following:

Clarify your problem : Deloitte recommends identifying the problem you wish to address before delving into your dark, or unstructured, data and decide what data sources might help in resolving it. Focus questions on one specific area and ensure it is measurable and of value for your hiring process. Extracting samples from a selected data source will help to quickly indicate its potential value rather than attempting the impossible and time consuming task of pouring through an expanse of information. For example, a paper based onboarding system may contain invaluable insights into why new hires are leaving your business within the first six months of employment. Too broad an approach will be overwhelming.

Be aware of risks : Historical recruitment data that is not easily accessible or securely stored could expose your business to issues with data protection. Information on former employees for example may not be needed again but must be stored appropriately and securely. A formal policy relating to the storage of data during the hiring process is essential. Veritas found that that over 25% of employees store personal data in corporate resources which may infringe on data privacy or copyright rules. 20% of employees also use personal devices to store business data. That may be vital dark or unstructured data lost to HR.

Incorporate technology : Paper based or manual recruitment processes add to the expanse of dark data generated every day. Korn Ferry notes that less than half (48%) of businesses use applicant tracking software in recruitment. Without those systems or basic technology, dark data risks adding to inefficiencies in hiring processes rather than offering added value. This may still be a step too far for hiring teams inching towards the use of people analytics, or who have yet to harness the insight available in basic recruitment metrics. Deloitte’s Global Talent Trends report for 2017 shows that 85% of companies have usable data but only 9% have a ‘good understanding of which talent dimensions drive performance’. Dark data may be the key to understanding those dimensions.

About the Author:

Kate Smedley

Kate Smedley is a freelance copywriter specialising in HR, HR Tech and recruitment, with 18 years of previous experience as a recruiter. Kate also works with employers to identify problems in hiring processes, offering full support and advice throughout the recruitment cycle.


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